tv Inside Story Al Jazeera October 3, 2013 3:30am-4:01am EDT
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[[voiceover]] every day, events sweep across our country. and with them, a storm of views. how can you fully understand the impact unless you've heard angles you hadn't considered? antonio mora brings you smart conversation that challenges the status quo with unexpected opinions and a fresh outlook. including yours. on august 20th, al jazeera america introduced a new voice in journalism. >> good evening everyone, welcome to al jazeera. >> usa today says: >> ...writes the columbia journalism review. and the daily beast says: >> quality journalists once again on the air is a beautiful thing
>> obama: we're bothed pleased there is an possibility of finally getting chemical weapon stock piles out of syria. but i think we both share deep concern that we have to be able to verify and enforce what has now been agreed to as the united nations. chemical weapons inside of syria obviously threaten syrian civilians but over long term pose a threat to israel. we want to make sure that we get those indiscriminate horrible weapons out of there. >> that was president obama while hosting israel's prime
minister benjamin netanyahu moon monday in the oval office. here to speak with us, ambassador documented the use of chemical weapons in iraq in 1988 for the senate foreign relations committee. ambassador, if i can start with you, what does it mean for the region if syria is successfully disarmed? >> well, it clearly is a passtive development to --positive development to eliminate these weapons. in terms of regional security, i don't think it makes a great deal of difference. these weapons were not
--the real beneficiaries of syrian disarmament are the global ban on chemical weapons because now there are very few countries have them with syria signing up, and the syrian people because once these weapons are gone they won't be a threat to the syrian people. that's really the main use of these weapons, is against insurgents. >> in terms of--as the ambassador said, there has been this strategic where these weapons have been seen as a bid by syria to hold at bay israel's weapons program. does israel in any way do you think feel more secure because these weapons are gone? >> i think marginally yes. there has always been a concern on the israeli part that these source of weapons may be transferred within the region to
hostile parties such as hezbollah or hamas. that's the only way they would be seen as . but now that they are out of the way, it's a positive balance. >> now to the possibility of openings with iran, these two things seem to be moving together. is there a relationship between syria's decision to own up to its chemical weapons, arsenal, and to disarm and to the seeming opening with iran? >> i'm not sure there is a direct relationship, although it's important to note that iran is one of the victims of saddam hussein's chemical weapons and the iranians do not view these weapons favorbly. but what can be said with certainty is that had the united states gone ahead with a military action rather than
having this diplomatic solution, it would have been much more difficult for president rouhani of iran to watch his diplomatic initiative which seems to offer such hopes. the fact that there is a resolution instead of a military response is a positive solution. >> the international community is dependent upon the continued good behavior, if you will, of the assad regime or of people close to the assad regime in order to carry this out. >> in a lot of ways its interesting. a lot of significant actors here have a vested interest in this process. first and foremost the united states and russia, but also as you said the assad regime. and this is why i actually think over all they're going comply for the most part with this disarmament process. for them as well it is a way to stay engaged with the
international development and international process. yes, implicitly it recognizes them as the sovereign power in syria or what's left of it. >> and ambassador, do you think for president assad, this represents in a funny kind of way sort of a life boat? >> i'm not sure if it's a life boat, but what he has done is get rid of weapons that he couldn't use because of the certainty of a strong international response. incidentally now there is no incentive for syria to cheat because while it could hide away the weapons, the moment they were brought out there would an strong and likely military response. but his position is clearly much stronger now. the rebels have been losing momentum. this is a significant diplomatic triumph ant or syria, and the
rebels have responded to these developments by moving in a radical way with a number of the groups linking up with the al-qaeda nus ra front. and the they would come out in support of the assad regime. >> we have about a minute left. in terms of the assad regime itself. it sounds like this was not a lot for them to give up. they seem to have gotten a lot basically in international terms here. what do you think happens going forward? obviously there was the threat of intervention, was that a significant threat in this instance? >> i think it posed--i think it was an unknown element for the regime, and it threw them off balance for a while. i wouldn't say that this has been a gift to them as such. i think they very narrowly avoided a catastrophe of their own making. now that they know the bounds in
which they are allowed to fight the war they can craft their actions accordingly and most likely avoid a significant western military response. >> and continuing huge numbers of civilian deaths. >> yes, that's the tactic of bombarding urban areas with artillery and airstrikes. >> and they've used fuel explosions in schools in northern syria. >> yes, it's quite documented. they've used them several times before. >> that's it from the team in washington, d.c. my thanks, from me, thanks for watching inside story. good night.
♪ ♪ welcome to al jazerra america, here are the more than's top stories. the shutdown stalemate is now in its third full day. president obama met with congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle, but the white house meeting ended with no deal in sight. and it looks like the shutdown will not impact this weekend's armed forces college football games. according to several media reports, the navy-air force game and the army-boston college game, they are back on. the pentagon had suspended travel for intercollegiate athletics for thathletics but tr these games came from outside sources and did not have to be approved through congress. today president obama is planning to visit a construction company to talk about how the businesses are